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Authorities Investigating Humpback Whale Death After Alaskan Ferry Collision

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HUMPBACK WHALE ALASKA
Humpback whales at sunset, Alaska. | Paul Souders via Getty Images

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — A team of scientists is investigating the death of a humpback whale that was struck by the state ferry Kennicott near Kodiak.

KMXT reports (http://bit.ly/1m5M1Bj) that law enforcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating whether the ferry strike killed the animal.

Kate Wynne, a marine mammal specialist for the University of Alaska Sea Grant Program, said the 25-ton whale died of massive trauma.

Frances Gulland, the lead veterinarian for the investigation, said the whale was hit while it was alive. But Gulland said it still wasn't known whether the death was caused by the ship.

A spokesman for the ferry system, Jeremy Woodrow, said the incident happened Saturday. He said it is a rare occurrence. He added that there was no damage to the ferry.

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Information from: KMXT-FM, http://www.kmxt.org

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